Five Things You Must Know Before Opening a Fitness Business
Starting any business is hard, but starting a fitness business comes with unique considerations. The good news is you’re not the first person to walk this path, and there’s plenty to learn from the ones who have gone before. Read on for a roundup of five things all aspiring fitness business owners should know.
1. Don’t even think of not having a business plan.
There’s a huge chasm between wanting to open a fitness business and actually opening one. Think of your business plan as a roadmap for navigating this gap. A thorough business plan -- which defines not only who you are as a business, but also where you’re headed -- is the foundation upon which your business is built. The best business plans include market research; a mission statement; investments and finances; goals; and your unique selling point (USP), which is what differentiates you from your competition.
2. Understand what it will cost and who will pay.
Finances are included in your business plan, and with good reason. Starting a business without knowing how you’ll fund it is a recipe for failure. Expect to encounter costs for rent; monthly expenses such as utilities; fitness equipment; staff wages; office supplies and insurance.
Funding itself comes with the benefit of maintaining complete control over the business; however, it also means that you’re on the hook for the full financial burden, and this can be a rocky road in the early years. Conversely, while raising money from investors and co-founders can alleviate some of the financial burdens, it also means you’ll lose some control since your investors will expect some say in how the business is being run.
3. Expect to wear many hats.
While a successful fitness business will eventually assemble a full team, in the beginning, you may be handling a variety of responsibilities -- from accounting to marketing -- on your own. If certain tasks are outside your wheelhouse or disagree with you, this can be particularly challenging.
4. Prepare to get the word out.
An old philosophical question asks, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it still make a sound?” While philosophers may debate the issue, the answer is a resounding “no” from a business perspective. If you don’t have a marketing strategy in place, you are sentencing your fitness business to fail. This strategy should include pre-sales, pre-opening promotions, a website, social media, and other must-have marketing materials.
5. The right people make all the difference.
Fitness businesses may be about health and exercise, but at their core, they are customer service-oriented operations. In order to deliver consummate customer experiences, build relationships, and support member recruitment and retention, hiring staff members with the right skills, talents, and attitudes is critical to member satisfaction. It’s not just about hiring, however. Training is an equally important part of the hiring equation. Every member of your staff should understand why your fitness business exists, what your mission is, and how they fit into the big picture.
One last thing to keep in mind about opening your own fitness business? No business is a guaranteed win, and this absolutely applies to fitness businesses. Risk is very much part of the equation, but factoring in the points above can help you swing the odds in your favor. Also working to your advantage? Buying the right equipment, including the biggest fitness trend of the 21s century: wearables. To learn more about how AccuroFit's cutting-edge fitness monitoring technology can help you gain a critical inside edge, download the catalog today.